Cool by the pool

From haute cuisine to hot jazz, the Inbal’s Grill on the Terrace in Jerusalem has it all.

July 10, 2013 11:01
3 minute read.
Grill on the Terrace

Grill on the Terrace. (photo credit: Courtesy)

On a cool summer evening in Jerusalem, what could be more pleasant than sitting out by the pool and having a gourmet dinner to the sultry strains of a jazz trio? Not much, I can assure you. My dining companion and I enjoyed that and more on a recent outing to the Inbal Hotel’s newly opened kosher Grill on the Terrace.

One flight down from the lobby, along the corridor past the spa/gym and out into the outdoor pool area, the restaurant awaits, replete with half a dozen candlelit tables with white tablecloths and linen napkins and a bar illuminated by soft blue lighting.

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Given the choice between selecting from the menu or having executive chef Moti Buchbut offer us a tasting menu, we put aside the printed roster and opted for the latter. And what a lavish array of culinary creations that was! A fusion of Middle Eastern dishes with a European twist, the chef’s dishes integrate European elements into Middle Eastern classics, rendering some very original combinations.

We started off with the warm, crisp, seasoned focaccia served with a selection of spreads (NIS 32), which was replenished during the sumptuous meal. Next came a small glass of zesty gazpacho topped with a sliver of toast. A platter of red tuna ceviche in sesame oil ensued, served with sliced beets and radishes in lemon zest (NIS 58). It was beautifully presented, with the lemony raw tuna nuggets cascading from a square glass jar lying on its side. This was followed by beef carpaccio with arugula in balsamic vinegar with sliced pears (NIS 55). My personal favorite among the appetizers was the seasoned mixed greens, crumbled minced meat and peanuts on thin pita (NIS 42). My only regret in regard to the starters is that I didn’t pay more attention to the menu before putting it aside, as I would love to have sampled the chicken liver pate in cherry tomato and shallot sauce (NIS 52).

Before the parade of main dishes was presented, we were served a palate cleanser of lemon and strawberry sorbet. Very refreshing, in every sense of the word.

To the jazz combo’s smooth stylings of such classics as “Summertime,” Besame Mucho,” “Isn’t She Lovely?” and “Petite Fleur,” we took our time savoring the chef’s selection of main courses.

We started off with the light and lovely grilled grouper fillet with seasoned vegetables, with a thick, creamy leek sauce on the side (NIS 120). Next came the dish I was really looking forward to, as I am always seeking a good hamburger in this country – the tower of seared mini entrecote burgers with mushrooms (NIS 75). An upscale version of the classic burger and fries, this dish consisted of three sliders (mini burgers) accompanied by three types of grilled mushrooms, ranging from a large dark Portobello mushroom cap to a cluster of small white Shijemis. It was a delightful dish, but the burgers could have done with more flavor.

Next came seared spring chicken (pargiot) marinated in a creamy peanut butter sauce (NIS 75), followed by breast of duck in citrus marinade (NIS 95). The menu also includes grilled lamb chops with mustard granule, served with sofrito (NIS 125) and beef fillet in pepper cream sauce with roasted potatoes (NIS 115). A vegetarian main course is available as well. And there is a children’s menu, with main dishes ranging from NIS 35- 45.

As the old TV commercial asserted, “There’s always room for Jell-O,” but we really did not have much room for dessert. However, that did not deter our friendly waiter and the affable maître d’ from showering us with the four “afters” on the menu. These consisted of fruit sorbet (NIS 30); pineapple carpaccio (NIS 32); pear crumble with crème anglaise (NIS 32); and assorted truffles (NIS 32). Each one looked and tasted delicious, especially the array of chocolate truffles, served in a mini mason jar.

The Grill on the Terrace is open Sunday through Thursday from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m., and the jazz trio performs on Tuesday and Thursday nights. During the day, the restaurant serves a lunch menu.

As the restaurant is outside but within the premises of the five-star hotel, the location makes for a quiet evening of elegant fine dining without the intrusion of traffic or passers-by. The Grill on the Terrace will remain open until September 30, making it a short but very sweet summer gourmet get-away.

The writer was a guest of the restaurant.

Grill on the Terrace
Inbal Jerusalem Hotel
3 Jabotinsky St., Jerusalem
Tel: (02) 675-6688
Open until September 30

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